Self-care and self-love are buzzwords these days, but what exactly do they mean and why is it so crucial to take care of yourself? It’s easy to get caught up in all the things we do for others, especially in the military world. There’s always something or someone that needs our attention. Making time daily to put yourself first will not only help you to recognize just how awesome and special you are but will also put you in a better position to enjoy the life you are living.
Self-care is simply that: caring for yourself. It can come in any shape or form that speaks to you and your unique wants and needs. Whatever you choose, it should make you feel good and be specifically for you, not anyone else. Self-care can be practiced daily, weekly, monthly or just in the moment. Below, I outline a few ways I make myself a priority and share ideas for how you can do the same.
- In the Moment. If you find yourself in a stressful situation or you made a mistake, it can be easy to beat yourself up. Instead, by breathing deeply and forgiving yourself, you are practicing self-care.
- Daily. I take 15 minutes every morning to meditate, stretch and set an intention for the day – prior to engaging with anyone or checking my phone. My mantra is: Energy in before I send energy out. I tune out the world and all the things I need to do and take time to tend to my own needs. Other ways I care for myself daily: go for a walk, see a movie alone, get my nails done or carve out time to read a book. Challenge yourself to set up a morning or evening routine that allows you to focus on yourself for a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at how centered you will feel!
- Weekly and Monthly. Set up a weekly yoga practice or a time every month to check in with loved ones who live far away. Finding time to connect to yourself and those you love will do wonders for your mental wellness.
My advice to you? Choose a self-care ritual to practice each day or a few times a week for a month and note how it affects you and your interactions with others in a journal. This will encourage you to find what works for you and see how self-care can positively affect you over time. Above all, enjoy each day and remember you are worth it.